"Our daughter Alexa was born two months early due to complications from my pregnancy. When she was born she only weighed 2.5 pounds. We soon found out that our daughter would be okay, but that she would have to stay in the NICU for two months. The first day we were there, a representative from the Ronald McDonald house approached us and asked us if we would be interested in staying there to be closer to our daughter. While we appreciated the offer, we didn’t feel that we would need that as we lived about 25 minutes away. However, we soon found out that we were becoming exhausted with all the trips back and forth to the hospital. In fact, we practically lived in the hospital as we didn’t want to miss feeding and taking care of our daughter while we were there.

After a few days, we decided to stay at the RMH for the rest of Alexa’s time in the hospital. We didn’t realize what we were missing out on before! We soon found that we could spend much more time at the hospital for several reasons. One, we didn’t have the commute to the hospital anymore which meant we could be there as often as we liked. Also, we were amazed at all the volunteer service that was given at the house. We hardly had to worry about cooking, as volunteers almost daily came and fixed meals for us. But, probably the best part of the house was the camaraderie and love we felt there from the volunteers, and other families like us. We made friends with other families staying there that also had children in the NICU.

After nearly two months and countless visits to the hospital, we were finally able to take Alexa home with us. By this point she almost weighed five pounds. Although we were very excited to take our little girl home, we were sad to leave our new friends at the house behind."

-Melissa Petersen